Planning a Funeral
Our prayers and God’s blessings are with you and your family during this time of grief and loss. As Christians who proclaim the resurrection promise we have through faith in Jesus Christ, it is our privilege to help you celebrate the life that has been lived and share the good news that in Christ, our final citizenship is in heaven. One of our pastors will meet with you to help in the planning of a memorial or funeral service and provide comfort, grace, love, and strength as you walk through these days of bereavement. Funeral arrangements can be overwhelming at the time of a death of a loved one. As you prepare to meet with the pastor and other staff at Nativity to personalize the service to your needs and desires, we invite you to consider the following guideline and options.
- Confirm date, time, space, and pastor. Before you plan a service with a funeral director, please call the church office to confirm that a pastor is available and worship and fellowship space are open for the date and time requested. We will make every effort to provide the service time and date requested. Should scheduling and space issues arise, we will work with you to provide alternative dates and times.
- Schedule a meeting with pastor and food service coordinator to plan service. In this planning meeting, you and your family will go over the following details regarding the funeral of your loved one: Number of people expected: A fellowship lunch or coffee fellowship can be arranged with our food service coordinator. A separate planning sheet outlines the options and estimates for food as well as a fee for our food service coordination. Bulletin cover and inserts: This will be customized for you; you can have your loved one’s picture or a significant image printed on the cover, with additional photo for the interior of the bulletin. You will need to bring a copy-quality picture to be scanned, or send it electronically to the church office. You may choose to submit a short obituary or life summary printed in the bulletin. A rough draft of the entire bulletin will then be emailed for your approval prior to printing. Printing deadlines will be determined at this planning meeting. Music: This important part of the service reflects faith and comforts the bereaved. At Nativity, you may include the following musical options: Scripture: You may choose a favorite psalm or Bible text or ask the pastor to suggest or select appropriate texts. Candle and Funeral Pall: Your pastor will talk you through the use of these symbols of our faith. Words of remembrance or other readings (optional): Up to three (3-5 minute) reflections may be offered by a family member or close friend early in the service. Your pastor can also read a tribute or reading of your choice. Additional reflection and sharing is best offered during fellowship time.
- Plan visitation and set-up. You may choose to have a visitation hour in our gathering area prior to a service. Tables, easels, and TV/DVD for pictures are available, as needed. Custodial staff is available to help with set-up. If a funeral director is not involved in arrangements at the service, talk with the pastor about set-up needs for flowers, urn, etc.
- Decide on audio or video needs for before and during the service. Some families create a slideshow of pictures to show either during visitation in the commons or in the sanctuary prior to the service. A fee will be charged for a sound technician to handle any media needs and run our sound system during the service. The technician will make an audio copy of the service that you can take as a memento. If you want a video recording of the service, special arrangements need to be made.
- Make final interment arrangements. Interment at a nearby cemetery may be done prior or immediately following the service, or following the fellowship hour. It is most often done following the fellowship hour with family and closest friends.
- Plan for honorariums and other fees. Honorariums are an appropriate way of expressing gratitude for spiritual comfort and service support shared by the pastor, musicians, and volunteers. Fees are charged for specific staff services such as media/sound, food service, and custodial services. Families cover the cost of food that is ordered and served at fellowship events. Any remaining food is sent home with family or given away. Receipts of costs will be available in our church office, and are due the day of the funeral. Your funeral director may offer to dispense honorariums on your behalf or the family can handle this on their own.
Funeral Fees and Honorariums:
Below is a list of suggested fees
Your pastor will provide the names that checks should be made out to.
Pastor – $200
Organist/Pianist – $150
Soloist/instrumentalist – $100-150
Sound/media technician fee – $50
Building use/custodial fee – $300
Food Service Coordinator* – $75-250 *charge varies according to number served.